It’s not the Ultimate Ski Quiver — just a handful of saws. Nonetheless it is surprising how many backcountry skiers use pruning saws for various purposes. Most sled skiers I know carry one to remove smaller downed trees that block winter trails, and yearly Christmas tree and wreath gathering requires tooling. (Check local rules and regulations and if necessary acquire firewood, Christmas tree or “defensible space clearing” permits before unfolding your saw on public land.)
We’ve got a few saws kicking around here. Did some recent Christmas tree cutting, thought a review would be fun.
The saw from Lowe’s is too flimsy and the teeth are too small. It’s heavy as well at 8.6 ounces even though it has the shortest blade of our testers.
The long bladed offering from Ace looks good when you’re shopping, but disappoints. We saw no real reason for the knuckle protection and resulting bulk when folded. More importantly, it cut less effectively than we expected. Adding insult, 10 ounces is too much mass for a saw with just a 10 inch blade.
Clear winner is the Fiskars. The 10 inch blade quickly slides in and out of the handle (no fumbling with folding) and locks securely with a threaded knob. More importantly, it cut better than the other two saws and is the lightest of the bunch at 6.9 ounces. Three thumbs up.
If you’re looking for Christmas gifts, this could be a nice one for the backcountry guy or girl. (New version as shown in Amazon link has a “carabiner” type hang clip which is actually pretty nice and adds little to no weight.)
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.